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IndyCar GP Indy: O’Ward tops practice times after Palou paces FP1

Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward set the fastest time in IndyCar practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, topping the FP2 session after Alex Palou paced the slower FP1.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

O'Ward pipped Chip Ganassi Racing's reigning champion Palou to the top spot by just 0.029s to continue the fine form he showed by winning last time out at Barber Motorsports Park with a 1m09.783s lap.

He was just 0.058s quicker than Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport) in third, with defending Indy GP winner Rinus VeeKay fourth for Ed Carpenter Racing 0.142s adrift.

After early red flags caused by Dalton Kellett and Jimmie Johnson finding the gravel, Herta had set the fastest time on primaries.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Jack Harvey was the first to set a time on the Firestone softer alternate tyres, lapping the 2.439-mile track in 1min10.097s.

Then O'Ward's team-mate Felix Rosenqvist shaved 0.042s off that to claim top spot for not even half a minute before VeeKay went faster again with a 1m09.926s lap.

VeeKay's hold on top spot was also brief, as Palou and O’Ward delivered their best laps of the weekend so far to take the top two slots.

Their times remained unbeaten to the end of the session, with Herta moving into third late on ahead of VeeKay - who had languished down in 21st after FP1.

RLL's Christian Lundgaard set the fifth-quickest time at the scene of his debut in last year's second visit to the Indy road course, when he qualified an excellent fourth.

Romain Grosjean, who took his first IndyCar pole at last year's Indy GP for Dale Coyne's team, was the second-quickest of the Andretti contingent in sixth ahead of VeeKay's team-mate Conor Daly and Rosenqvist.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Simon Pagenaud drove his Meyer Shank Racing entry into ninth ahead of former Penske team-mate Will Power, who has five wins and five pole positions on the Indianapolis road course. He completed the top 10, a scant 0.007s ahead of team-mate Scott McLaughlin.

The earlier session, topped by Palou, was red-flagged with just over 90 seconds remaining of the allotted 45 minutes when Pagenaud's team-mate Helio Castroneves spun at Turn 13.

When the session restarted, it looked unlikely that anyone could get their tyres up to temperature soon enough to make a difference to the fastest times, but Palou and team-mate Marcus Ericsson strapped on new tyres to snatch the first and sixth fastest times.

That allowed Palou to displace impressive rookie Callum Ilott (Juncos-Holinger), the Briton using the extra set of tyres allowed for rookies in the opening session to sneak ahead of Power by 0.068s with three minutes to go for what was then the top spot.

The Briton lapped the 2.439-mile 14-turn road course in 1m10.459s, a time he failed to improve on in the later session where he ended up 19th, just ahead of six-time champion Scott Dixon (Ganassi).

Power ended the opening session third ahead of Graham Rahal (RLL), Rosenqvist and Ericsson.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who will make his first road course IndyCar start since this event last year, ended the day 24th and 1.2s off the pace in the third Arrow McLaren SP entry.

Qualifying begins at 4.00pm local (Eastern) time.

IndyCar Indy GP - FP2 times

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 18 1'09.783  
2 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24 1'09.813 0.029
3 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'09.842 0.058
4 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 19 1'09.926 0.142
5 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 22 1'10.000 0.216
6 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'10.016 0.232
7 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 20 1'10.039 0.255
8 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 18 1'10.054 0.270
9 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 20 1'10.056 0.272
10 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 21 1'10.063 0.279
11 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 23 1'10.079 0.295
12 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 19 1'10.097 0.313
13 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 23 1'10.143 0.359
14 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 18 1'10.208 0.424
15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 22 1'10.216 0.432
16 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 12 1'10.261 0.477
17 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'10.269 0.485
18 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 17 1'10.271 0.487
19 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 19 1'10.474 0.690
20 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24 1'10.504 0.720
21 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 20 1'10.531 0.747
22 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 20 1'10.552 0.768
23 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 17 1'10.705 0.921
24 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United States Arrow McLaren SP 9 1'11.017 1.233
25 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 16 1'11.206 1.422
26 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 19 1'11.393 1.609
27 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'11.693 1.910

IndyCar Indy GP - FP1 times

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'10.455  
2 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 19 1'10.459 0.003
3 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 17 1'10.527 0.072
4 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'10.612 0.157
5 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 15 1'10.710 0.255
6 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'10.712 0.256
7 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 13 1'10.745 0.290
8 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'10.781 0.326
9 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 13 1'10.791 0.335
10 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'10.835 0.379
11 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 12 1'10.858 0.402
12 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 17 1'10.859 0.404
13 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'10.863 0.407
14 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 17 1'10.885 0.429
15 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 17 1'10.890 0.435
16 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 17 1'10.934 0.478
17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 15 1'10.954 0.498
18 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 20 1'10.970 0.514
19 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 15 1'11.000 0.545
20 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'11.006 0.550
21 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 13 1'11.072 0.616
22 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 15 1'11.188 0.733
23 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 16 1'11.586 1.131
24 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'11.660 1.204
25 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United States Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'12.007 1.551
26 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'12.209 1.753
27 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 11 1'12.436 1.980

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